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At the Center

Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

The following postings have been filtered by tag engineering ethics. clear filter
  •  An Engineering Ethics Case Study

    Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2012 12:23 PM

    Software engineer "Wayne Davidson" is responsible for testing a prototype of an air traffic control system in a new case study by Michael McFarland, SJ, computer scientist and former president of College of the Holy Cross.  When Wayne finds a problem, his boss dissuades him from reporting on it so that the company can meet its very tight deadline with the Federal Aviation Agency.  McFarland takes readers on a step-by-step process for thinking through the ethical issues behind Wayne's dilemma.

  •  Engineering Ethics

    Thursday, Jun. 21, 2012 4:27 PM

    To be effective and have a positive impact in their communities, engineers need to have a basic grasp of ethical decision making, says Michael McFarland, S.J., in this video conversation with Irina Raicu, Internet Ethics Program director at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

    McFarland, a computer scientist and Jesuit priest, describes how he became interested in science and ethics and how he integrates the two disciplines.  McFarland began his career at AT&T Bell Labs, where he conducted research in computer-aided design of digital systems. He taught computer science at Gonzaga University and Boston College and served for 12 years as the president of College of the Holy Cross.

  •  The Gulf Oil Spill

    Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2011 1:53 PM

    Reflecting on the lessons of the Deepwater Horizons oil spill, engineer Erich Eminhizer observes:

    "It is important, and perhaps imperative, to step back and consider the fundamental ethical question of deepwater drilling itself, for it is from this philosophical germ that all other ethical considerations are derived. Once formed, this foundation serves to inform our notions of “acceptable risk” and responsible engineering, allowing us to set a course for our society in real terms. I argue that this moral compass must be forward-thinking and aggressive, and represent the future we wish to achieve and preserve for future generations. It is only with this mindset will we keep apace of our innate human desire to expand, explore, control, and multiply. It must also be built on a rich appreciation for the immense complexity of Earth’s interconnected biosystems. Deepwater drilling represents both a surrendering of this moral courage to our perceived immediate needs and a failure to adequately value the obligation this natural complexity requires in securing the future health of the planet."

    Eminhizer, a graduate student at SCU, wrote this paper for a class on engineering ethics taught by Center Director of Campus Ethics David DeCosse.